Santa didn’t bring you what you wanted? Coal wasn’t on the wish list? Perhaps you got another fruit cake from your aunt or you have yet another tie?
Take one of the ties (the ugly one) back and get yourself a copy of the Oliver North’s American Heroes in Special Operations.
I was sent a copy to read and do a post on. You want to know what your SOF guys are doing and have done? Get the book. Want to know about how the SOF guys are doing an almost impossible job while at the same time making it look so easy? Get the book.
I can tell you after 17 short years of the Marines and working quite extensive with “shadow warriors” in combat operations, this book nails it. Accurate and detailed and includes several short stories for any aged warrior to be inspired by. From the Sept 11 attacks and the use of SOF to the fighting of the HIG, American Heroes in Special Operations allows you the opportunity to get in the weeds and to know the individuals pulling the triggers and being awarded just the like.
Oliver North is a Vietnam veteran awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts during his twenty-two years of service as a United States Marine. Later, he was assigned to the National Security Council staff by former President Ronald Reagan, who called North "an American hero." Today, he is a New York Times best-selling author, syndicated columnist, and host of the award-winning War Stories documentary series on the FOX News Channel. North has four children, eleven grandchildren, and lives with his wife in Virginia.
A question and Answer with the author, Oliver North.
Q: Why did you write American Heroes in Special Operations, a book about America’s Special Operations units?
A: A country without heroes doesn’t have a future, so the American people need to know that we’ve got heroes out there who are under extraordinary risk in difficult and very dangerous circumstances, who do this kind of thing every day and never get the credit they deserve. These heroes go into harm’s way, far from the nearest friendlies, often on classified missions, who never get their stories told. We have a relationship with the U.S. military and we are committed to protecting the identities of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines because their stories are important. They deserve to have their stories told and the American people need to hear them.
Q: Why is this book so important right now?
A: Very few people know the names of people like Petty Officer Neal Roberts, the first Navy SEAL to die in the War on Terror, who fought off the enemy for over an hour when he fell from a helicopter in Takur Ghar. I have a chance to tell their stories. I meet heroes every day. There is a picture in the book of Staff Sgt. Robert Miller on page 180. His story is amazing. He was on a mission when his unit was ambushed. He decided in the middle of the gunfight that the only way they would be saved was if he stood up and ran toward their enemy. For his bravery, he was awarded the Silver Star. While I was in Afghanistan, we found out President Obama was awarding Staff Sgt. Miller the Medal of Honor posthumously.
Q: How much training do the special operators need?
A: They all come from active service, so they have already volunteered once. To become a part of special operations, they have to volunteer a second time, then they have to qualify and pass a screening to begin service. Special Operations can add years to their training. These guys who are going undercover or behind enemy lines know they will be in harm’s way, far from friends, on a mission that may never be divulged. They have to be prepared for those situations and their training is what makes U.S. Special Operations forces the most elite warriors on the planet.
Q: From your experience and observation, how is modern warfare changing?
There have been over 400,000 changes in equipment, tactics, techniques and procedures since the war began on 9-11-01. From equipment on helicopters, to the kinds of devices soldiers use to call in very accurate fire from aircraft. America has the best trained and equipped fighting force in world history. Remember, this is an entirely volunteer, highly motivated military out there fighting everyday to preserve the freedoms we hold so dear.
Q: We want to reduce casualties in the military, so will we always need boots on the ground?
A: We need a deterrence force of a conventional military who can tell our enemies: “We can deal with you and any kind of threat.” With that said, there is certainly an increased reliance on Special Ops, who are uniquely capable of going after the radical Islamic extremists. It’s very pinpoint, very precise, very dangerous– requiring extraordinary skills and unique equipment that does reduce the American footprint as well as reduce costs and American casualties.
Q: What’s the one thing that you want readers to walk away with?
A: Some say as few as 2% of the American people know the name of someone serving in the military. Special Operations forces usually do not get any recognition, but it is important Americans know who their heroes are. Remember these names and show your gratitude by praying for our military everyday.